The Sequested Prize 

Pablo Picasso, Self Portrait at ninety, July 1972

Junel 2021 Update : 
This prize has always been about promoting the artist through recognition and widening their network.  We feel its important that the winning artists get to meet the judges, and so due to Covid -19 restrictions, the final event and announcement is postposed and we can now reveal that the final show will take place at UNIT LONDON, in Hanover Square early next year. 

Art has always sustained humanity in its darkest hours. 


To sequester means to isolate. To put away, to set aside for a particular purpose. The Sequested Prize, a new short-hand for sequestered, is using an unprecendented word for unprecedented times.  The Sequested Prize is recognising the particular purpose of the artist at this time: to make work. 


The Sequested Prize is instigated by an artist

Many artists’ financial existence is very fragile, even at mid-career. Matisse said that people do value and enjoy art, like they enjoy butter, cream and milk, but don’t want to know about the dung and flies surrounding the reality of the cow. 


This prize is instigated by an artist who knows this well, often several jobs are needed to create a small space in which to shelter the slight, flickering flame of an art career. The freelance/contractor/zero-hours/casual jobs used to sustain artists have evaporated in this time of sequestration. 


The Sequested prize is designed to offer light and hope in these dark times and the chance to be in a show where your portrait will stand out, a space where your work will be taken seriously, specifically, through a self-portrait created now, when we are sequested at home remembering this significant moment in our history. Looking at yourself,  using you as primary subject matter is as a way of  connecting with others  in these constrained and strange times. 


What you can enter


A self -portrait made now.


You have a chance to regard closely what is to hand. You. 


A self-portrait is a powerful tool. It can describe a physical observation of the body and the metaphysical longing of the soul. The power of each are different. The tension in the work we are seeking, is when these two, not only converse but converge. When they conspire together, they move into the area of the profound.  How to do it right here, right now? It is done by what is hidden in, and revealed by, the artist’s, gesture, implied and actually, immanent in, and formed from, the connection of eye to hand, to paper, to canvas, to surface. 


Only you can describe you now. 


Look hard at yourself. 


Start where you are.


Use what you have. 

Anthony van Dyck, Portrait of Cornelis van der Geest, 1620

W K Lyhne

Founder of The Sequested Prize 

W.K.Lyhne  is an artist, curator and researcher. She has wide ranging practice, mainly focused on painting and drawing but also including ceramics, sculpture and film.  She has shown widely, recently at Lungley Gallery in Dalston, as well as for The Freud Museum and Mark Hix. 


Lyhne is currently doing a practiced-based PhD. with supervisors from  Chelsea College of Arts and Design


The Royal College of Art.

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Fru Tholstrup 

Co-Founder of The Sequested Prize 

Fru Tholstrup is a London-based art consultant with a deep knowledge of the contemporary global fine art market, advising collectors and international businesses on building museum-quality art collections. She spent 10 years as a Director of the London and Berlin based Haunch of Venison gallery and is known for her role launching Sotheby’s flagship London Art Gallery, S|2 in 2013 and working closely with the S|2 Brand in New York and Hong Kong. Recent independent projects have included the critically acclaimed group show ‘21st Century Women’ at Unit London and the curation of the art collection for the Hôtel de Crillon in Paris.


Kate Bryan

Kate Bryan is an arts broadcaster and curator. Kate is the global head of collections for Soho House and Co. She has written and presented arts programmes for Sky Arts, BBC2, BBC4 and Sky Arts Italia.

She is a Judge on the long running shows Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year. She is a mentor for young women in the arts and in 2019 published her first book, The Art of Love.

Matt Carey-Williams

Matt Carey-Williams is  Senior Director and the Worldwide Head of Sales for Victoria Miro Gallery. With nearly 25 years experience in the art world, Matt has operated across European, American and Asian markets for both auction houses and blue-chip art galleries. He is a published writer and continues to lecture on contemporary art and the art market.

Nicholas Cullinan

Nicholas Cullinan took up his position as the Director of the National Portrait Gallery in spring 2015, following roles at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Tate Modern. Nicholas received his BA, MA and PhD in art history from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and in 2006–7 he held the Hilla Rebay International Fellowship at the Guggenheim museums in Bilbao, New York and Venice.

David Dawson

David Dawson is a painter and photographer who worked with Lucian Freud from 1990 up until his death.  David won the Ruth Brochard self portrait prize 2019.

Fergus Duff

Fergus Duff is  Director of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department. Prior to this Fergus worked in Sotheby’s Private Client Group where he was responsible for developing client relationships and advising international collectors on their acquisitions. He was instrumental in Sotheby’s first outdoor selling exhibition in Asia, with Sotheby’s Presents Zadok Ben-David at the Singapore Botanic Gardens and editions of Beyond Limits at Chatsworth House.

Maryam Eisler

Maryam Eisler is a London- based photographer and editor . She holds a BA in Political Science from Wellesley College and an MBA from Columbia University


Eisler co-chaired Tate’s MENAAC Acquisitions Committee for ten years and is a trustee of the Whitechapel Gallery, and sits on the advisory board of Photo London,  She is a contributing Editor to LUXMagazine.  She has additionally contributed both photographically and editorially to Harpers Bazaar Art, Harpers Bazaar Interiors, Vogue Arabia and Vanity Fair.

She has held Executive Editorial roles for several Thames and Hudson publications and her book,Voices: East London which she is both author and photographer was published in November 2017.

Eisler's photographic work is represented by London-based gallery, Tristan Hoare and NY-based gallery Harper's Books .


Melanie Gerlis

Melanie Gerlis became the art market columnist for the Financial Times in September 2016. She was previously Art Market Editor at The Art Newspaper (2007-2016), before which she worked in financial communications at Finsbury in London, advising investment banks, hedge funds and other financial services clients.


(1996-2005). She is a trustee of The Art Academy and Art360 and a member of the governing body for Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She has a BA from Cambridge University and an MA from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Her book, ‘Art as an Investment?’, was published in 2014

Simon Martin

Simon Martin is Director of Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, UK. He has curated many exhibitions and written widely on Modern British and contemporary art. A Trustee of the Charleston Trust, he also serves on the Fabric Advisory Committee of Chichester Cathedral; the Courtauld Association Committee; and the Advisory Board of Apollo Magazine. He is an alumnus of the the Courtauld Institute of Art and University of Warwick. 

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Johnathan Messum

Johnathan Messum is the founder of Messums Wiltshire, an  innovative Art Centre that celebrates the creative endeavour offering a unique environment for both artists and collectors.Johnathan studied History of Art at Edinburgh University and then worked at Christie’s in London before joining the family business He set up Messums Wiltshire in 2016. In 2019 he opened Messums London in Cork Street.

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Jane Neal

Jane Neal is an independent curator, art critic and advisor. An expert on the contemporary art scene in Eastern Europe, she has also been described by ARTINFO and The Financial Times  as one of the most knowledgable independent curators working today in the field of figurative painting. She co-authored the best-selling art book: 'Art Cities of the Future: 21 Century Avant Gardes.

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Carrie Scott 

Carrie Scott, art historian, independent curator and consultant, has over 15 years' experience advising clients on collecting photography.  She works side by side with visionaries including Nick Knight, John Pawson, Marina Shacola, Walter & Zoniel, and Darren Waterston on art projects that take shape outside the confines of the white cube. In 2018 Scott curated the largest independent photography show for the Store x, exhibiting 470 photographs and most remarkably featuring 320 images from John Pawson’s series Spectrum.

Justine Simons 

Justine Simons OBE is Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, London and Founder and Chair of the World Cities Culture Forum. Justine is pioneering ground breaking cultural policy; from Creative Enterprise Zones to the new London Borough of Culture Award, from the world’s first Cultural Infrastructure Plan to establishing the UK’s first Night Czar. Justine believes culture is central to London’s success as a global city and has the power to transform lives and places. She has shaped the capital’s cultural strategy for over 15 years, helping establish London as a top global creative capital. She is leading the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games legacy, East Bank - the most significant new cultural and education district to be established in the UK in 150 years. Justine established the Fourth Plinth as a global exemplar for public sculpture and chaired the commission that put the first statue of a woman on Parliament Square to mark the centenary of the first women getting the vote.

Carol Tulloch

Carol Tulloch, writer and curator, is Professor of Dress, Diaspora and Transnationalism at the University of the Arts London based at Chelsea College of Arts. She is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Her recent work includes ‘Style Activism: The Everyday Activist Wardrobe of the Black Panther Party and Rock Against Racism Movement' in Fashion and Politics (2019), co-editor of The Persistence of Taste: Art, Museums and Everyday Life After Bourdieu (2018), the exhibition Jessica Ogden: Still (2017), the monograph The Birth of Cool: Style Narratives of the African Diaspora (2016), the book and exhibition Syd Shelton: Rock Against Racism (2015).


Dylan Jones

Dylan Jones studied at Chelsea School Of Art and then St. Martin’s School of Art, and former editor at i-D, The Face, Arena, the Observer and the Sunday Times. He is the award-winning editor of GQ magazine, a position he has held since 1999, and has won the British Society of Magazine Editors “Editor of the Year” award a record eleven times.

Under his editorship the magazine has won over 50 awards.

He was the Chairman of the Prince’s Trust’s Fashion Rocks Monaco, is a board member of the Norman Mailer Writers Colony and a Trustee of the Hay Festival and is a Director of Conde Nast rand Menswear Chairman of the British Fashion Council.

In 2013 he was awarded an OBE and is Honorary Professor of Glasgow Caledonian University.

Samson Kambalu

Samson Kambalu  is an artist and a writer working in a variety of media. He approaches art as an arena for critical thought and sovereign activities.  He has been featured in major exhibitions worldwide, including the Dakar Biennale (2016) and the Liverpool Biennial (2016). He was included in All the World’s Futures, Venice Biennale 2015, curated by Okwui Enwezor. Kambalu studied at the University of Malawi (BA, Fine Art and Ethnomusicology), and Chelsea College of Art and Design (PhD, Fine Art). His research fellowships have included Yale and the Smithsonian. He is an associate professor of Fine Art at Ruskin School of Art and a fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford University. 


Josh Lilley

Josh Lilley opened in Fitzrovia in May 2009.


More than 80 exhibitions have been presented, including multiple solo shows for Derek Fordjour, Nick Goss, Analia Saban, Kathleen Ryan and Peter Linde Busk. The gallery has recently taken on the neighbouring building, doubling its exhibition space.


Notable programming and collaboration for 2020 includes the European debut for Chicago-based painter Celeste Rapone, the official representation of British artist Ryan Mosley; currently featured in the seminal painting survey Radical Figures at the Whitechapel Gallery, Kathleen Ryan’s inclusion in the Liverpool Biennial, the fifth gallery exhibition in October for British painter Nick Goss, while the end of the year sees a groundbreaking exhibition of the work of Patrick Caulfield - 150 never seen before paintings, drawings, sketches, and prints - from the archive of his first wife and three sons.  Josh Lilley will also be participating in leading art fairs, including Frieze New York, Frieze London, and Art Basel Miami Beach.

Ewan Venters

Ewan Venters is Hauser and Wirth's first global Chief Executive Officer. Venters  leads the gallery’s Executive Board. 


Before this he was was CEO of Fortnum & Mason, Ewan has led the famous Piccadilly destination to a succession of major achievements during his 8 years in post.  Under his leadership, Fortnum’s has recorded record sales and profits, and have also expanded beyond their historic London home into new locations globally. Ewan has been passionate about the creation of innovative products and bringing Art to Fortnum & Mason, our latest exhibition showcasing Fortnum’s X Zhang Enli artwork was a great success.




Katy Wickremesinghe is the Founder of KTW London, a strategic communications consultancy formed from a desire and mission to connect, educate and inspire with forms of art and culture: whilst  representing major galleries, auction houses, global luxury brands and private individuals, KTW’s creative content platform, KTW Curates and Monday Muse, connects individuals to creative experiences.

She  is a committed cultural advocate and philanthropist and serves as a V&A Young Patron; RA250 patron; member of Future Contemporaries with The Serpentine and on the Executive Committee for AWITA. She also holds a number of prominent advisory board roles including: The Line - a public arts initiative conceived by Megan Piper; The Colombo Biennale; Platform Presents - dedicated to nurturing new rising talent in theatre and film and previously The Clinton Foundation. She appears in the top 5 Luxury power players in the 2020 PR Week PowerBook, an annual recognition list in PR week of the most influential


professionals in Britain.


Wickremesinghe founded KTW London in 2016, after a decade at Freuds. She is part Sri-Lankan and a passionate advocate of forging links between East and West on a wider cultural and business level.


Jonathan Yeo

Jonathan Yeo is one of the world's leading portraitists and has exhibited widely in both the UK and abroad. His sitters include such diverse figures as Sir David Attenborough, Malala Yousafzai, Damien Hirst, Nicole Kidman, Baroness Lawrence, Tony Blair and The Duke of Edinburgh. Known for both traditional and experimental portraiture, his work has been the subject of mid-career surveys at the Museum of National History in Denmark (2016), the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle (2014-15), the Lowry in Greater Manchester (2014) and the National Portrait Gallery in London (2013). Other collaborations include the Royal Academy of Arts in London (2018), the Bowes Museum in County Durham (2018), and the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC (2016). In 2018 Yeo was also appointed as Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery in London, and named Artist of the Year by GQ Magazine.

Ruth Guilding

Ruth Guilding is an art and design historian, writer and curator, @bibleofbritishtaste

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Tristan Hoare

Tristan Hoare begun his career at Christies and began curating independent exhibitions before setting up his gallery in London 2009. Based in Fitzrovia he is focused on emerging and established international artists with an emphasis on skill and storytelling.

Simon Ofield-Kerr

With a 35-year commitment to creative arts education, Professor Simon Ofield-Kerr  studied Fine Art Photography at Exeter College of Art and Design, and then History of Art at the University of Leeds. He has a PhD and a range of publications focused on the relationships between Fine Art, visual cultures and the social / sexual pleasures, practices and identities of men in 1950s Britain, considering the work of Francis Bacon, Keith Vaughan and David Hockney.


He is  Vice-Chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts. 

Ben Pentreath

Ben Pentreath is one of the UK’s leading architectural and interior designers. 

His London-based design studio has established a powerful reputation across a wide-ranging variety of disciplines. 

Ben lives with his husband, Charlie McCormick, in London and in a Regency parsonage in West Dorset—and now also in a tiny cottage on the far west coast of Scotland. 

Melanie Sykes

Melanie Sykes is a TV and radio presenter and Editor-in-Chief of the online women’s magazine FRANK.

She currently hosts ‘The Great pottery Throwdown’ and co-hosts a radio show with comedian Alan Carr on BBC Radio 2.



Who may enter

The Sequested Prize is open to all and designed to support those who are working to establish or continue in a professional art career. The prize will be in the form of a prominent selling show in Central London for the 15 winners providing an opportunity for them to develop their professional careers. You can enter the competition if you're aged 18 years and above, live in the UK or are UK-based (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. It also includes the Republic of Ireland).

Submission process
You need to register, pay the fee contribution, and complete your self-portrait and submit it digitally by 1st of September  for judging.  Artists may enter as many entries as they wish.

What are the deadlines for the competition?
You have until  the 1st of September 2020.

Make your fee contribution, finish your work and submit it. 

Further dates TBC, likely to be Spring 2020 given the difficulties of travel and meeting arising of Covid-19. 
Please note some of the judging dates may be subject to change given the uncertainty of Covid-19. Selected artists will be kept informed.

How many images can I upload of my final work by 1st September 2020?
You may submit a maximum of two images in that one submission. 

What size can the work be?
A maximum of 1.5m in either direction, by no more than 5cm thick. 

What is the prize?
15 winners will take part in a selling group show of their self-portraits at Tristan Hoare Gallery, now intended Spring 2020, given the difficulties of travel and meeting arising from  Covid-19. There will also be prize money of £3,000 for the top three works, chosen by the panel of judges.  All entries are judged over a multi-stage selection process by our panel of judges. 

How much does it cost to enter?
£10 inclusive of VAT and is non-refundable.

Why is the contribution £10?
The entry contribution helps to finance The Sequested Prize, whilst also helping to employ the very same freelance creatives that are currently without an income, to facilitate it over the coming months.  The Sequested Prize could not go ahead without this contribution. 

Can my work be a collaboration with another artist, or artists?
Yes, but please note that an artist or collaborative artists may only submit a maximum of one work in total, per entry, although as a single collective, they may submit more than once.  All collaborative artists must be living or professionally based in the UK.

Can I submit photographs, iPad drawings or film?

What is the entry requirement?
Your submission must be wholly or partly executed in any painted, drawing, collage or ceramic  medium , textiles etc. and designed to hang on or be fixed to a wall, within the dimensions stated. Photography, iPad drawings or film are not accepted. 

How many images can I upload?
You can upload a maximum of two images. One of these must show the complete (whole) work. An optional detail image of the work may be submitted.

Do I have to frame my work?
No, you do not have to be framed. If you regard the frame as an integral part of the work, and therefore would like it listed as part of the works media, you must say so.

Can I enter diptychs/triptychs as one work?
Yes, but the overall size must not exceed 1.5m x1.5m. The depth must not exceed 5cm.

How recent does the work need to be?
Only work that is dated since the beginning of April 2020 will be eligible. This is a prize for work made now. 

What happens in during judging?
The jury views and discusses the entries from the digital image submitted, during each stage  of the judging process. The jury shortlists the works that are to progress through to shortlist and the final list of the 15 winners.

Can I have feedback if my work is not selected?
No. We regret that we are unable to provide feedback at any stage of the competition.

How do I know if I’ve made it to the final shortlist?
Artists will be notified by email if they have been successful . We regret we cannot respond to individual enquiries. 

If I make it to final shortlist, do I have to bring my work to London or will it be judged digitally?

Work will be judged only digitally now, given the continued difficulties with Covid -19 and travel.   

Does my work need to be for sale?

Yes.  All 15 winning works have to be available for purchase through to the end of the exhibition period. By entering the competition, you are agreeing to this requirement. If selected for the exhibition, you will be party to a commercial agreement to exclusively undertake all sales of shortlisted paintings in the exhibition and that a contribution commission of 20% from the sale of your work will be taken. Half of this will be donated to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Rapid Response fund , the remainder to fund the cost of the exhibition. No commission will be taken by the gallery.  Your pricing should include  VAT being removed upon sale by the gallery. Please consider these costs before you price your painting during the entry process.

All graphics for Zealous, Instagram and Facebook are kind courtesy of Olivia Corby at 

Maria Lassnig Self-Portrait , 1999